Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Myth Busting: Ammunition Impact and Fire Safety.

‘Sporting firearm ammunition is less of a risk to firefighters than many other household products’.

I had seen the short version of this SAAMI training video before (essentially the trailer) but not this highly informative version. Possibly the best antidote to the common myths that ammunition will create a ‘bomb’ if subjected to heat or impact is that in the absence of a chamber and means for a gas-seal, the effectiveness of ammo is massively reduced. Note how even a primer popping out in some of the examples is enough to prevent the bullet from exiting an unsupported, fired cartridge. This is not to say reloaders and shooters should not store ammo, powder and primers  lawfully and with care, but it is useful in understanding the physics of detonation and projectiles. They really did burn up a lot of ammunition!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Recommendation: "Arming and Disarming: A History of Gun Control in Canada" by R. Blake Brown

The value in books like “Arming and Disarming: A History of Gun Control in Canada” by R. Blake Brown lies in their potential contribution to civic and political debates about firearm legislation and the civil discourse on ‘gun-politics’. For this reason I can highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to further arm themselves with a meaningful and coherent foundation in the history and development of Canadian firearm legislation. Obviously Canadians will primarily benefit from this book but many of the associated issues are universal and the legal details are similar to other jurisdictions.

Brown (Associate Professor of History at St. Mary’s University, Halifax, N.S.), has neatly collated a treatise of Canadian firearm law history from pre-Confederation through to the contemporary, ongoing debates subsequent to Bill C-68. The book is a research work and as such is not intended to be a source of ‘entertainment’. That said it is not nearly as dryly academic as one would expect from a journal article for example and is peppered throughout with interesting quotes, anecdotes and art from news media, citizens and politicians. He gives thorough treatment to varied issues ranging from state support for rifle skills through to the emergence of sophisticated gun-control and gun-owners lobby groups at work in Canada today. Along the way he deals with issues such as early state sanctioned firearm ownership, concerns over youth and firearms, early disarmament schemes that were xenophobic, racist and classist, Canada’s early forms of registration and the evolution of licensing and modern legislative requirements.